Closed 30 Aug – 3 Sept for changeover
The pulse of a city perfected on paper, explore the breathtaking world of the city now known as Tokyo.
Newly published perspective view: Enjoying cool evening at Edo’s Ryōgoku bridge
Kitagawa Utamaro II
CBL J 2522
Featuring one hundred prints and printed books from the Chester Beatty’s renowned collections of Japanese art, Edo in Colour explores how woodblock prints shaped a city’s identity as they crafted its image.
Bursting into life as capital of Japan’s ruling shogunate, by the mid-18th century the population of Edo (modern Tokyo) had grown to over one million.
From buskers and teahouse beauties to actors, entertainers, prostitutes and star-crossed lovers, the people of downtown Edo became celebrities of this new metropolis, their image captured in vibrant woodblock prints.
Woodblock prints were an affordable art, printed by the thousand and consumed as fast as fashion demanded. They are also aesthetically rich and technically accomplished. As illustrious artists and shrewd publishers battled for market share, they constructed the city anew on paper.
Inspired by the seasonality of these artworks, this exhibition will be shown in two parts:
Part 1: 28 May – 29 August 2021
Part 2: 4 September – 5 December 2021
The exhibition will close for changeover from 30 August to 3 September.
Visit the 3D Virtual Exhibition
Presented with the support of the Japan Foundation and Toshiba International Foundation
Chester Beatty is a charity and your donations help make our work possible.